|07-31-03: An issue of privacy
|Judge delays decision on sealing records on Brent Anderson's death
By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
The Daily Standard
DEFIANCE - No decision was made this morning during a motion hearing to
seal the records of Kimberly Anderson relating to her arrest for the September 2001 death
of her husband Brent Anderson.
Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple did not state when
a ruling would be made, following the hourlong hearing in Defiance County Common Pleas
Kimberly Anderson's attorney, Alan Konop of Toledo, filed the motion
May 22, seeking to seal all records held by the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office, the
Wapakoneta Police Department, the Auglaize County Prosecutor's Office, the Bureau of
Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI&I), the Auglaize County Data Center and
The argument heard today hinged on Kimberly Anderson's right to
personal privacy versus the right of the public to have access to the information from the
Prior to today's hearing, an agreement was made between all parties to
keep all exhibits, including the gun used to kill Brent Anderson, preserved in an agreed
fashion. The "agreed order" places the exhibits in the hands of Richard Wallace,
a Sidney attorney who filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit in September 2001 on behalf of
Brent Anderson's family.
The hearing today took place in the same courtroom where Kimberly
Anderson's seven-day trial was moved from Auglaize County in October 2002, due to pretrial
The 38-year-old Wapakoneta woman wore a long, dark dress as she sat
next to her attorney. The courtroom held only Kimberly Anderson's family and media
representatives, unlike the high number of spectators that attended the trial last fall.
At the conclusion of the trial in October, Anderson was acquitted by
jurors of aggravated murder, murder and voluntary manslaughter. The mother of four told
the jury she fired eight shots at her husband in self-defense as he came after her in an
upstairs bedroom that Labor Day weekend.
Konop told the court this morning that Kimberly Anderson is trying to
get on with her life and intends to enter the respiratory therapy field she left following
"She will be applying for jobs soon," and it wouldn't be in
her personal interest to have aggravated murder charges still on her record, Konop told
Konop also argued that if Anderson was ever pulled over for a traffic
stop, a background check by an officer may reveal the charges and cause prejudice.
Auglaize County Prosecutor Ed Pierce reminded the court the civil suit
still can be refiled by Brent Anderson's family until Sept. 2. In the event that happens,
he wants to protect the law enforcement officers who may need their notes from the
investigation to testify.
"I'm going to protect my officers for what may be coming down the
road," Pierce said.
Pepple commented in court that he felt there has been ample time for
all parties to preserve copies of depositions, testimony, etc., and family members as well
as media have done so.
Pierce also argued that Konop's stance to protect his client's privacy
holds little merit after she gave interviews to not only several local newspapers but
appeared on a national syndicated television show, "The John Walsch Show."
Konop minimized the televised interview saying the show is not
"To say she diminished her privacy rights (by giving interviews)
makes no sense," Konop told the court.
Several of Brent Anderson's family members have acquired a new civil
attorney, Dale Perdue of Columbus, who is expected to refile the wrongful death suit.
Perdue did not make an appearance in court today.
Brent Anderson's brother, Kevin of Cincinnati, filed the original
wrongful death civil suit just weeks after the Sept. 2, 2001, shooting. Kevin Anderson
sought compensation from Kimberly Anderson for the couple's surviving children, Erik, now
5, and Ryan, now 3. The case was dropped in March at the request of the family who cited
Kevin Anderson also filed for custody and/or visitation of his
brother's children. Details of that case have yet to be disclosed.
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